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[Movie 2015] Memories of The Sword 협녀 : 칼의 기억


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July 15, 2015

Star-studded Korean films prepare to claim summer box office

High-profile directors and casts fill out Korean summer movies of every genre

The first half of 2015 was not kind to the Korean film industry. With the exception of “Ode to My Father” and “Twenty,” no Korean movies were able to make a big splash in theaters. 

Korean moviegoers opted for blockbuster Hollywood films like “The Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Furious 7,” “Mad Max” and “Jurassic World” or smaller surprise hits like “Kingsman: The Secret Service” and “Whiplash.”

Korean movies began to pick up at the box office with “The Classified File,” a true-story crime thriller that opened on June 18. That success was quickly followed by “Northern Limit Line,” with patriotic themes that continue to draw audiences to the box office three weeks later. 

As of Wednesday morning, “Northern Limit Line” had brought in 4.8 million moviegoers, remaining in second place at the box office lagging only behind Pixar’s hit “Inside Out.”

This seems to be just the beginning of Korean movies’ reclamation of the box office, with a variety of star-studded Korean films helmed by hit directors gearing up for the summer rush.

Drama/Thriller -- “Assassination” (Opening July 22)
Directed by Choi Dong-hoon

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Poster for "Assassination" (Showbox)

The man behind “Tazza: The High Rollers” (2006) and the megahit “The Thieves” (2012) introduces a historical action drama this summer with a cast as impressive as his previous films. Jun Ji-hyun (Gianna Jun) rejoins Choi as an independence fighter in 1930s Korea who leads a team in an assassination attempt on two elite figures in the Japanese government ruling Korea. Lee Jung-jae, Ha Jung-woo and Oh Dal-su are some of the other actors filling out the plot‘s essential characters. 

Crime/Action -- “Veteran” (Opening Aug. 5)
Directed by Ryoo Seung-wan

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Poster for "Veteran" (CJ Entertainment)

Ryoo Seung-wan, known for carefully crafted action sequences in thrillers like “The Berlin File” (2012) and “The Unjust” (2010), presents a veteran detective going up against a cocky, untouchable heir in “Veteran.” The leads of “The Unjust,” Hwang Jung-min and Yoo Hae-jin, join forces again with Ryoo alongside Yoo Ah-in and Oh Dal-su.

Comedy -- “Wonderful Nightmare” (Opening Aug. 13)
Directed by Kang Hyo-jin

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Poster for "Wonderful Nightmare" (Megabox Plus M)

The writer behind the hit comedy “My Wife is a Gangster” takes the director’s seat in this family comedy about a stylish, single lawyer (Uhm Jung-hwa) who, through an unfortunate accident, suddenly finds herself trapped in the body of a housewife with two kids. Actor Song Seung-heon breaks his suave image to become the bewildered, loving husband to Uhm’s panicked character.

Historical drama -- “Memories of the Sword” (Opening Aug. 13)
Directed by Park Heung-sik

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Poster for "Memories of the Sword" (Lotte Entertainment)

Director Park Heung-sik brings together three of Korean cinema’s hottest names in this historical drama about three swordsmen living at the end of the Goryeo era. Lee Byung-hun plays a man who betrays others to pursue his political ambitions, while Cannes favorite Jeon Do-yeon and rising star Kim Go-eun play two women who target him for justice and revenge. 

Romance -- “The Beauty Inside” (Opening Aug. 20)
Directed by Baik

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Poster for "The Beauty Inside" (NEW)

Inspired by an advertising campaign, “Beauty Inside” promises to be trendy and visually captivating, with a director whose main expertise is in advertisement design. In the film, a woman (Han Hyo-joo) falls in love with a man who wakes up in a different body every morning. The man, Woo-jin, is played by a dizzying cast of A-listers including Park Shin-hye, Lee Bum-soo, Yoo Yeon-seok, Lee Dong-wook and Park Seo-jun. 

Horror -- “The Chosen: Forbidden Cave” (Opening in August)
Directed by Kim Hwi

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Poster for "The Chosen: Forbidden Cave" (Daou Tech)

The director of acclaimed mystery film “The Neighbors” (2012) returns with a movie that has the classic markings of a Korean horror flick: ghosts and shamanism. Psychologist and exorcist Jin-myeong (Kim Sung-kyun) attempts to help art museum director Keum-joo (Yoo Sun), who feels something supernatural taking over her being and threatening her and her young daughter. Horror film darlings Yoo Sun and Cha Ye-ryun round out the strong, talented cast.

By Won Ho-jung (hjwon@heraldcorp.com)

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Another good clip feat. characters' behind-the-scene from Memories of The Sword

Published on July 20, 2015 by emperornuneo3's channel

'Memories of The Sword' Characters Behind-the-Scene Clip 

feat. Lee Byung Hun, Jeon Do Yeon, Kim Go Eun, Lee Joon Ho

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July 19, 2015

Is Production Cost Proportionate to Number of Audiences?
CHOI Dong-hoon’s Assassination bets winning move with a production budget of 18 billion won.

by Kim Hyun-jung / KoBizGOMkOqHPMTOkzJCoVJdm.png
  
There is no reason only big-budget films should draw many audiences.
 
In 2013, Mr. Go flopped with only fewer than 1.5 million viewers even though the film costs 25 billion won(USD 21million), the highest ever in Korea, to produce. But CHOI Dong-hoon, the director of Assassination has enjoyed a desirable phenomenon where increases in budgets for his films translate into bigger box office hits. The Big Swindle, his debut film already earned him a spot on the list of Korea’s commercially successful directors.
 
In 2006, Tazza: The High Rollers with a production budget of 5.1 billion won (USD 4.5 million) attracted 6.84 million viewers. In 2009, Woochi with a production budget of 12 billion (USD 10 million), 6.13 million viewers and in 2012, The Thieves with a production budget of 14 billion won (USD 12 million ), 12.98 million viewers. Woochi’s production budget which is a high budget for a Korean film, equals the production budget for only six minutes of the Hollywood mega blockbuster Avatar.
 
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Assassination, a new film by CHOI costs 18 billion won (USD 15.7million) to produce. Memories of the Sword, Veteran and The Beauty Inside picked as the four most anticipated Korea films for the summer season along with Assassination cost nine, five and 4.5 billion won, respectively to produce. “The increase in the budget made me ask myself, ‘Am I crazy now?’”, CHOI said about a burden of the growing budget. CHOI will receive the opening-day box-office scorecard of his new film on July 22 when Assassination will hit screens. 

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#MemoriesOfTheSword #August13

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Hope tomorrow's MOTS press event will go smoothly and stress-free for everyone, for Lee Byung Hun especially. It's time to face the moment and make good on his word. 

May the much-awaited movie be well-received by the critics & media.

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Just noticed that the director at the back doing the same gesture as LBH. 

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July 24, 2015

Actor Lee Byung-hun apologizes over blackmail scandal

SEOUL, July 24 (Yonhap) -- Actor Lee Byung-hun made a public apology Friday for causing trouble over a blackmail case in his first public appearance here since the scandal emerged.

"It's all thanks to your attention that I was able to live as an actor," Lee said in a trembling voice during a press conference to promote the Korean historical action film "Memories of the Sword."

"I'm feeling the importance of this attention more keenly than anytime before as I spend time in repenting for giving you a big disappointment."

In September, Lee was blackmailed by two women demanding that the actor pay them 5 billion won (US$4.28 million) in exchange for not uploading online a video clip allegedly showing the three of them drinking and making sexual remarks.

Lee won a lawsuit as the court gave the blackmailers a suspended jail term. But he could not escape from the public criticism that he behaved inappropriately as a married man.

"I know very well that a few times of apology or time can never help dispel disappointment," he said, vowing steady efforts to change himself.

Lee plays Yubaek, an ambitious swordsman dreaming of becoming the king in the Korean costume film "Memories of the Sword" set in the late years of the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392). He currently is filming a Hollywood remake of the classic 1960 western film "The Magnificent Seven" with Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke and Wagner Moura.

"Memories of the Sword" is set to open Aug. 13 in local theaters.

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Actor Lee Byung-hun speaks during a news conference in Seoul to promote his upcoming Korean film, "Memories of the Sword." (Yonhap) Actor Lee Byung-hun speaks during a news conference in Seoul to promote his upcoming Korean film, "Memories of the Sword." (Yonhap)

sshim@yna.co.kr

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July 24, 2015

‘Memories of the Sword’ To Premiere Next Month

Source: BNTNews

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[by Woorim Ahn, photo by Hwang Ji Eun] Movie ‘Memories of the Sword’ held its production conference at Konkuk Lotte Cinema in Kwangjin-gu, Seoul on July 24.

The film is the story of a man’s betrayal who once dreamed to be a king in Goryeo Dynasty and two swords’ story after 18 years. Lee Byung Hun, Jeon Do Yeon, Kim Go Eun, 2PM Junho, Lee Kyung Young, Kim Tae Woo and others appeared.

Meanwhile, ‘Memories of the Sword’ will premiere nationwide on August 13. (photo by bntnews DB)

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July 24, 2015

Actor Lee apologizes for blackmail scandal

By Baek Byung-yeul The Korea Times

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Actor Lee Byung-hun introduces his upcoming film "Memories of the Sword" at a theater in eastern Seoul, Friday. / Yonhap

Actor Lee Byung-hun officially apologized Friday for the blackmail scandal he caused.

"The reason why I exist as actor Lee Byung-hun is because of all your care," Lee told reporters with a quivering voice before introducing his new film, "Memories of the Sword," at a theater in eastern Seoul. "I am still repenting and I am feeling more remorseful than ever.

"I fully acknowledge that those disappointments (that my fans have felt) won't be forgotten with only a few apologies. But I will do my best to pay off the disappointment."

The star, 45, has been at the center of a blackmail scandal. In September, Lee sued a fashion model and a female singer for blackmailing him with a video clip showing the three exchanging lewd jokes. Lee denied he had any sexual relations with the two women.

Although the two blackmailers were sentenced to 24 months in prison, Lee was criticized for being involved in such a scandal while his actress wife Lee Min-jung was pregnant. The couple now have a 4-month-old son.

This was his first public appearance since the scandal. Though Lee was also featured in the latest "Terminator: Genisys" franchise, he has been avoiding local media. When actor Arnold Schwarzenegger and actress Emilia Clarke came to Korea to promote the Hollywood blockbuster earlier this month, Lee did not appear, saying he had landed another Hollywood role in "The Magnificent Seven" alongside Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke.

After unveiling a seven-minute preview of "Memories of the Sword," Lee also apologized to the cast and crew involved in making the film.

"The film should have screened earlier, but it couldn't," Lee said. "I don't know how to express my apologies to the filmmakers."

The film was originally scheduled to hit local screens in December, but distributor Lotte Entertainment delayed it due to Lee's scandal.

Directed and scripted by Park Heung-shik, "Memories of the Sword" revolves around three sword masters, set in the ancient Goryeo Kingdom (918-1392).

In the martial arts film, Lee stars as Deok-gi, who makes his way to become one of the most powerful men in the kingdom after betraying his kin, including Seol-rang (played by Jeon Do-yeon).

Turning her back to the world, Seol-rang disappears with an infant girl fathered by one of her warriors. When the girl turns 18, Seol-rang tells her daughter how her father died. The now-grown female warrior named Hong-ee (played by Kim Go-eun) takes revenge on Deok-gi.

The film, which also features K-pop boy band 2PM's Junho as a supporting actor, will hit screens on Aug. 13.

baekby@ktimes.com

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July 23, 2015

Korean Films Hit B.O. Slump as Hollywood Movies Surge

Sonia Kil Variety.com

This year has been troubling for the recently buoyant Korean film industry. Overall box office is down 1.5%, but, as Hollywood movies surge, the market share for local films has plunged to its lowest percentage since 2009.

While the summer and the second half of the year hold hope of recovery for Korean filmmakers, some of the problems may be systemic.

Total admissions slipped from 96.6 million in the first six months of 2014 to 95.1 million this year, according to Korean Film Council data. Moviegoing took a beating in June, when the outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome dampened audiences’ desire to sit in close proximity to their neighbors. Successful public health measures means the MERS scare is now contained, and cinema totals seems to be recovering.

Local films saw their numbers down by 2.7% to 40.4 million tickets sold in the first six months. That meant they took only 42.7% of the box office, compared with 50.1% for the full 2014, and 60% in 2013.

Hollywood titles dominated, accounting for all but 2% of the 57% market share grabbed by foreign films. “Avengers: Age of Ultron” opened on 1,843 of the country’s 2,300 screens and amassed $78.3 million from 10.5 million admissions. Behind it came “Kingsman: The Secret Service” ($44.5 million), “Jurassic World” ($41 million), “Mad Max: Fury Road” ($29.1 million) and “Furious 7” ($23.4 million).

Hollywood studios raked in even more revenue thanks to higher ticket prices from 3D and Imax screenings, something that Korean filmmakers shun.

In an unusual development, only four Korean films were in the top 10, with the still-in-release “Northern Limit Line” the local champion at $31.5 million to date; “Detective K: Secret of the Lost Island” ($26.93 million), “Twenty” ($20.83 million) and “Classified” ($19.51 million) were the other three.

What’s missing so far in 2015 are the middle-ranking successes, those films that sell between 3 million and 8 million tickets, which points to the growing polarization between Korea’s recent megahits, such as “Ode to My Father” and “Roaring Currents,” and everything else.

At least part of the problem lies with a huge supply of films that outstrips demand. In the first half year, some 486 films received theatrical releases (of which 96 were Korean), a 19-film-per-week rate that is more than the annual release total in most countries. With that crush, smaller films are rapidly pushed offscreen before they have the chance to find an audience.

Korea’s vertically integrated exhibition giants were penalized last year for favoring the films from their own distribution companies, but it is also clear that the vast number of releases, which has swelled as VoD and IPTV have begun to take off in Korea, simply outstrips nationwide screen capacity. Smaller and indie films often have to make do with partial runs made up of early morning or midnight slots.

Seasonal releasing patterns also make a difference. Korea’s homegrown blockbusters typically dominate the peak markets of summer and the national holidays. Hollywood tentpoles are given a freer rein the rest of the year. Small and mid-sized Korean film are thus forced to compete against blockbusters throughout the year.

In previous years the summer has been a time for the local horror niche to come to the fore – literally intended to give cold sweats in the hot season – though in recent years they have given way to nostalgic trips down memory lane or easy to consume popcorn fare. These have included period action blockbuster “War of the Arrows” in 2011; Joseon dynasty comedy “The Grand Heist” in 2012; and “Roaring Currents” and comic period adventure “The Pirates” in July and August last year.

The second half of 2015 continues that riff. Ryu Seung-ryong-starring fantasy “The Piper,” which opened on July 9, is the summer’s only significant local horror release. Instead, championing the Korean cause is a string of variations on the nostalgia, comedy and patriotic action themes.

These include the nationalistic “NLL,” still performing strongly; Showbox’s star-studded – and critically well received — period movie “Assassination”; and CJ Entertainment’s comedy-tinged contemporary crimer “Veteran,” set for an Aug. 5 outing. Another period action drama, “Memories of the Sword,” starring veteran actors Lee Byung-hun, Jeon Do-yeon and rookie Kim Go-eun, is expected to be a massive summer hit for Lotte this year.

If Korea’s most commercial filmmakers and their conglomerate backers can avoid the trap of genre exhaustion that they previously fell into in 2007-09, then there is a fair chance that their full year market share will be an improvement on the first half. But the outlook for smaller movies and indie fare looks just as dim.

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July 24, 2015

Actress Jeon Do-yeon promotes her latest movie

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South Korean actress Jeon Do-yeon answers questions at a media event for her upcoming action film "Memories of the Sword" in Seoul on July 24, 2015. (Yonhap) (END)

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